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New Delhi: Senior IAS officer Ajit Kumar Seth, known as a meticulous bureaucrat who plays by the rules, was on Tuesday appointed as the next Cabinet Secretary.

Seth, a 1974-batch officer from Uttar Pradesh cadre, will succeed K M Chandrasekar who retires in June 2011 after serving in the post for four years, which includes two extensions.

The appointment of Seth, who is currently secretary, Public Grievances and Co-ordination in the Cabinet Secretariat, was cleared by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, officials said.

The 59-year-old will serve as an Officer on Special Duty in the Cabinet Secretariat till 13 June and assume charge the next day. He will have a fixed two-year tenure.

Seth has edged out at least two officers Pulak Chatterjee, who is considered close to the Nehru-Gandhi family, and Bihar chief secretary Anup Mukherjee for the top post as they were also in contention.

Born on 24 November, 1951, Seth is Masters in Chemistry. He is known as a meticulous bureaucrat who plays by the rules.

Seth has served in various key positions in Uttar Pradesh government before coming to the Centre on deputation on 1 January , 2009 when he was appointed to the current post.

63-year-old Chandrasekar, a 1970-batch IAS officer from Kerala cadre, is demitting the post to which he was appointed in 2007 for a term of two years.

He was given a one-year extension in June 2009. He got another one-year extension in 2010.

The last extension ended the aspirations among 1972 and 1973 batch IAS officers for the top bureaucratic post of the country.

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